About Bates Motel

The Memorable TV Episodes of 2016 - The New York Times

"As a prequel to "Psycho," this series has always had an inevitable future looming over it. The core piece of that future arrived in shattering fashion in this May episode..." - Neil Genzlinger

Critic's Picks - Best 15 TV Episodes of 2016 - The Hollywood Reporter

"... the last moment of Norma Bates' life - became something crushingly sad rather than just crushingly inevitable. The emotional beats that led to the series' pivotal scene were meticulous and as well considered as I ever could have hoped for... and director Tim Southam's direction of the episode's closing moment was eerie and beautiful." - Daniel Fineberg

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016 - TVLine

"In Season 4, the A&E drama delivered 10 near perfect episodes that delved deeper into Norman's troubled mind while giving Norma a small taste of the happiness that had eluded her for much of her life. When their mostly separate storylines collided in inevitable tragedy, we were heartbroken; our investment in and sympathy for these two characters had us (foolishly) hoping that perhaps a different fate awaited them."

The Best of 2016 - A.V. Club

A&E set a lot of eyes rolling when it first proposed this hacky-sounding "prequel to Psycho," but over four seasons, stars Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore have transformed the series into a delectable mélange of high-camp theatrics, nervy scares, grounded character studies, and brilliant acting, all somehow coexisting in one universe. It shouldn't work, and seeing Bates Motel thread that needle is a singular experience.
Total time commitment: This year's installments alone, eight hours; all four seasons, 32 hours.
If you only have one hour: This year's penultimate installment, "Forever," was a near-perfect game changer, featuring some of Farmiga's best work in the entire history of the series. Fair warning, though: It's the ultimate spoiler episode to just about everything that comes before.
If you only have six minutes: The ending of episode two, featuring a tense stand-off with Norma and Norman Bates, is absolutely riveting television. If you've ever looked at a picture of lil' Freddie Highmore and wondered, "How could he possibly be menacing?", this will give you an answer.
If you only have five seconds: God, any time Farmiga is onscreen, it's basically the best thing ever.

Best TV Episodes of 2016 - Collider.com

Bates Motel: "Forever"
Writers: Carlton Cuse & Kerry Ehrin
Director: Tim Southam

"It's a close call between Bates Motel's penultimate Season 4 episodes "Forever" and its finale "Norman," but "Forever" wins out over the super-gluing of Norma's (Vera Farmiga) eyelids thanks to that wonderfully creepy sequence set to "Mr. Sandman." It was inconceivable to viewers that Norma might depart this mortal coil, but Norman (Freddie Highmore) engineered it so that mother and son could go together, with a peaceful, oxygen-deprived ending that included a scene of the two in bed together, dreaming about a future in Hawaii. Norman gave this to Norma, and after the emotionally devastating moments leading up to it between her and Romero, Norma was back to being her girlish, childlike self - happy, fully of hope, and full of love. Norman wanted things to end for her like that, for both of them, and it nearly worked. The empty frames of places within the house filling with carbon monoxide was both dreamy and forbidding, the perfect complement to Norman's peaceful death scheme. It was the perfect farewell for Norma, even though we weren't ready (we would never be ready), and we couldn't be 100% sure it really was the end. But "Forever" set the show on an irreversible path, and took a bold step into its final episodes. Though Bates Motel has had its ups and downs, "Forever" was the perfect way to cap off its best season yet." - Allison Keene